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Chico to bullpen, O'Connor to rotation

So the Nationals made a move, about which we haven't talked to Manny Acta yet. But beginning with tonight's game, second-year left-hander Matt Chico will be available out of the bullpen, and lefty Mike O'Connor is scheduled to throw Friday night at home against the Marlins.

Chico has been really struggling, "pressing," as he said. He said of the move, "I'm fine with it." He says his struggles (0-5, 6.87 ERA) have been because he's trying to be too fine. "To be honest with you, it's not mechanical," he said. "I'm not thinking too much. I'm trying too hard, trying to get back even. I'm trying to do too much, thinking I'm going to get five wins in one game."

O'Connor considers himself a starter at this point. Twenty of his 21 major league appearances in 2006 were starts, and he was a starter at Class AAA Columbus when he was called up earlier this week. "I'm excited for the opportunity to get to start again," he said. "I feel a lot more comfortable" starting, particularly with the routines, etc. In three relief appearances for the Nationals this season, O'Connor had a 7.71 ERA.

I'll get Acta's thoughts on this in a while.

By Barry Svrluga  |  May 7, 2008; 4:55 PM ET
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